Built in 1530, Ritan Park – the Temple of the Sun – is one of the four royal shrines and was used by Ming and Qing emperors to make sacrifices to the gods. No such acts happening here these days, though it's a pretty good place to sacrifice yourself to the sun because, despite its location in the middle of the CBD, summery spots don’t come much more tranquil than Ritan.
This urban oasis has plenty of grassy areas, shaded benches, pavilions and lakeside seats where you can set up camp. A popular park throughout the day (and into the night), here you can watch people dancing, practising taichi or catching a snap or two amidst marvellous flower displays. It’s also only a 15 to 30 minute walk away from The Place, Parkview Green and Central Park, so there’s plenty of opportunity for you to load up your picnic basket with tasty treats before you go.
Best spot Take a perch on the pavilion at the park’s rocky peak, which has fantastic views out towards the CBD’s skyscrapers.